What Is The Theme Of Shelley's ' Ode To The West Wind'?


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Shelley was an idealist and most of his nature poems are about the need for revolution and a desire to break the status quo. Ode To The West Wind is no different. Here Shelley sees the west wind as a symbol of revolution, of a new world order that would replace the old one. He identifies with the wind in that he knows that just as the west wind spells the arrival of the new year, similarly his poetic ideas will usher in a new world order and change the present world for the better. The poem has a note of despair when he says:

'I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed'
But soon enough he gains his composure and towards the end he's filled with hope and optimism which is expressed beautifully in the last two lines:
'When winter comes, can spring be far behind?'
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The Theme Of Shelley's ' Ode To The West Wind' is
  • Cycle of life
  • Return to nature (by referring to wind)
  • freedom.

The poem revolves around these three themes.

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